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Avatar universal

TIA and Birth control Only 28 years old

On Tuesday I went to the hospital after getting a headache, vision blurring, and the right side of my body going numb, and slurred speech. This episode lasted about 15-20 minutes. I left the hospital and they said it was just a bad headache. I followed up with my pcp and he said it was TIA possibly due to my birth control Sprintec. At the hospital they did a head scan but it was inconclusive. My PCP has ordered another CT and Catscan which will be done later this month.Can these tests/scans show that what I suffered was a TIA? I am worried that I could have another episode.  What should I do in the mean time while I am waiting for the tests? I am following doctor's order and am not going to take my birth control anymore. I am also taking one low dose aspirin every day, doctors orders. Is it rare to experience TIA due to taking birth control? Is there any legal recourse that has been taken against the makers of Sprintec? In general I am a very healthy person, excercise eat right and don't smoke.  In the past my cholesterol has been a little high and recently my blood pressue has been a little high. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. I am really jsut scared becausue I don't know exactly what happened and if it will happen again. I want to know that I am not alone.
12 Responses
Avatar universal
You may have had a TIA or a bad migraine.   Taking birth control pills (any type) can put you at risk for developing blood clots but usually in your venous system which would not result in TIAs but it is not completely unusual.   There is probably no legal recourse you can take as all of the birth control makers usually warn against these symptoms especially after long-term use.   You could, potentially, take your chances and try a lower-dose birth control pill (such as Yaz).   An MRI (not a CT head) is probably a better test to take.  None of them would show a TIA, however, only a stroke.
Avatar universal
I saw your post and had to let you know that you are not alone.  I am 24 years old and on Nov 29th I suffered a T.I.A. while I was driving back to work from lunch.  Talk about scary-my left side went numb, I had trouble speaking and my memory of that day is incredibly fuzzy.  I hit a co-workers vehicle and I was rushed to the E.R. where they determined it was a T.I.A.  All of my test so far have come back normal.  My choleserol was normal, my blood sugar levels were normal.  My blood pressure was normal.  They did an  M.R.I. and 2 catscans.  They also did an ecocardiogram to check out my heart and they said it looked normal.  Now as far as my overall health I am a little bit overwieght, but everything else is normal.  The only possible reason the Drs have found is my birth control pills.  I was taking YAZ-a low dose birth control pill-which I was immediately ordered to quit taking.  I am afraid to ever take any birth control pill again-even if it is low dose.  Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your not alone and it was extremely scary for me as well.  I have a check up with my dr. tomorrow and I am hoping they have some blood test results back that may give us some answers.  I wish you the best in the future.

144586 tn?1284669764
A certain number of patients have experienced strokes after taking Sprintec. The real question is, whether or not the danger will continue after discontinuing Sprintec. The answer is unknown. My gut feeling is the extra risk will diminish and eventually go away. I would be cautious about taking aspirin because Sprintec could cause a stroke from either a clot or a bleed, and if your TIA was caused by a bleed the aspirin is exacerbating the effect of the Sprintec. All that being said, most probably, if you discontinue the medication, you will not have further damage, and the redundant parts of your brain will take over the lost function.
144586 tn?1284669764
I've given a lot of thought to your situation, and as to whether or not to provide advice on a course of action. First of all, all of your medical expenses and bills relating to this event should be taken care of by your physician. I believe the fact you hace posted on this board suggests, at the least, he has been disingenuous regarding the situation. I am not in favor of suing physicians and hospitals at the drop of a hat. Nevertheless, you have grounds for what is called a "tort" against the physician and the drug company, as interpleaded defendants. So the answer you ask about legal action being possible the answer is unequivocably, YES!  Whether or not you choose to do so depends upon your relationship with your physician. In such a case is is inadviseable for you to go "pro se". You need an attorney. You should be able to find one to represent you without any money up front. To prepare the way for consulting an attorney you should have in your possession complete copies of all your medical records. Your physician was mandated by law to provide an adverse event report to the FDA regarding the drug you were using, as well as the hospital that treated you. I suspect they haven;t told you this. Request copies of that form. Go to the FDA government website for a complete explanation. Take the name of the drug, go to the PDR (Physician's Desk Reference) and find the manufacturer. Then you need to go to what is called in the medical advertising industry: "The Red Book". This comes out every six months (as I remember) and costs about eighty five bucks. Many librarys have it. In this book you will find the name and the telephone number of the PRODUCT MANAGER for a specific drug manufactured by a specific company. His address and telephone number and fax.  This is the person your attorney should serve a subpoena duces tecum on. The subpoena duces tecum should request all records regarding adverse affects of this drug and he should be asked if you were part of a drug study or if your physician was paid any money in order to prescribe this drug and provide follow-up reports on adverse affects. This is common and not necessarily unethical. If you are interested in the "nuts and bolts" of a tort actrion against the manufacturer of a drug product and a physician I suggest you purchase the excellent (but expensive) manual on suct torts published by the Practicing Law Institute. This publisher provides boilerplate instructions for bottom-feeders to prepare torts in areas in which they have no expertise, giving step by step instructions. I have a large number of their publications, and have found them to be invaluable. A catscan will show little. You probably need an MRI with dye contrast. It is clear to me that your physician has apparently not accepted responsibility for your problem and needs a nudge to "get off the dime".
Avatar universal
I wanted to let you know that this happened to me as well. I had a stroke while taking Nuvaring. I was 26. I am in constant pain now. I am so sorry that this happened to you. I am noticing more young women have had the same problems. I thought i was safer because it was called a "low dose" estrogen birth control. What they don't tell you is that it's high risk because of the type of progesterone. I posted at another site and was mocked and told" i was warned, be more politically active". I have written twice now on sites for fear of being mocked again. But, I am looking for a reason for my cronic pain now. Again, I am so sorry that this happened to you, or anyone our age. Facing your mortality so early makes you take life slower. I have also lost my ability to have children. There has to be a safer way to protect against pregnancy.
So sorry again
Avatar universal
Hi There.

I couldn't help but respond as I had an almost identical experience at 23 (now 27). After many trips to neurologist and cardiologists in NY they concluded the episode was a TIA caused by the Orthotricycline I had been on since age 18.

The initial catscan showed nothing (this was done right after the episode in Maine where I was in college at the time). I was not satisfied with the outcome so I headed to my parents outside NYC and had a contrast MRI done which showed the damage to my brain from the clot.

Good news is 3 months later a second contrast MRI showed the damage was gone - repaired by my brain.

I am outraged these complications are as prevalent as they are and the notion that these types of events only occur when other risk factors are present is ********. I am a runner, rock climber and avid skier - always have been. 5'6 and 122 pounds since high school. My blood pressure is low and no family history.

If you have any resources on potential complications later in life I'd love to hear them. I no longer take any hormonal b.control but I do worry about my own chemical changes and the potential of childbirth complications.

Avatar universal
I too had an TIA from birth control I was 18 at the time now I am 50.  I was immediately taken off birth control and going thru menopause without any hormones as I was told years ago that any hormonal medication would not be advicable.  I know nowdays there is all kinds of talk about warnings I had no warning 30 years ago.  I was thinking the new low dose bc were less problematic and that it didnt' happen any more.  I am sorry to hear this is still a problem and would never have known except tonight I did a search on the eye problem I had during the TIA I lost field of vision to the right side in both eyes.  My vision has been poor in my right eye since this incident is about useless now.  My left eye is failing I have no idea if this is because of the TIA.  No testing was done at the time.  For me it was half my tongue right hand then my eyesight with a pain in my neck I lost I could not talk or understand conversation and passed out.  I woke feeling quite detatched and afraid.  Case of too dense to know I was dense.  My family doc took me off bc the next day put me on 8 adult asprin until I could see a specialist.  I don't recall the specialist having anything at all to say except no more bc.  
As for the pain I have since been diagnosed with fibromyalgia I have no idea if that has anything to do with the TIA I am sure if it does there will be no research stating so.  As in my experience the only research that gets done seems to be pain for by drug companies and then it is ony to get medication to market.  If there is a problem discovered with one of there drugs as in research I will bet they hide it as to not put off sales.  Sorry I am such a skeptic and I hate to bring down you young people but I for one think there should be some advertising to say hey these pills can really hurt you and I am not seeing it however I do see buy this or that pill all day long on tv with a list of side effects so long the comercials are extra long.  I guess they are working or the drug companies wouldn't make them.  As for suing it was never a thought at the time and I am sure it is way too late now.  If you can sue your doctor like the above person says maybe you should I don't know but something should be done to get these drug companies to put out a safer product.  I guess there will always be the few that gets sacraficed too bad it had to be us.  I am sure the numbers are too few to impact the sales of bc and because of that this will continue for a few like us.
Avatar universal
You would think I would learn drugs can be dangerous but seem I am a slow learner.  I was put on antidepressants after the TIA nothing to do with the TIA it was to treat leg pain I had from a car accident this too was many years ago.  I thought the drug prozac was like tylenol as that is what the doc told me.  Let me back up a bit, after the TIA I had a decline in vision in my right eye.  While on the antidepressant my eye became worse and has not improved.  I am not sure why this is and doctors have nothing to say about it indeed I am told my right eye has been no good since birth I know this is not true and had eye test to prove it.  I am just wanting to warn you other woman that antidepressants after a TIA was a very bad idea for me it did not help the leg pain either so much for that.  Please be very carelful whag medications you agree to take and look up every pills official perscribing page then look for posts from other people who have taken them as it takes a long time for information to get to the regulators and for adverse reaction events to change what is in the official information.  Like birth control pills every drug has a down side I don't want to be on the downside of any more two is enough.
Avatar universal
I'm 24y/o and had a TIA ~10 days ago. I had numbness in my right arm and my speech was impaired for about 20 minutes. Went to the ER, had EKG, CT scan, Bloodwork, and Urinalysis. All were normal. The ER doc actaully said I could continue to take my birth control, seasonique, (I was like WTF?!) My primary care said that i am to never take another form of hormone ever again. I have since stopped taking my birth control, and had an EEG which came back with abnormalities from the left hemisphere of my brain. I'm still waiting to have an MRI/MRA. The stress of waiting and wondering if it will happen again is ridiculous! But it helps to see that it wasn't just me that this has happened to.
I never smoke, I work out daily, play soccer, swim regularly, am in great shape, 5'4" and weigh 120. I have no history of this in my family and no other reason besides the birth control!
It's just soooo scary waiting!
Avatar universal
I am 28 and generally healthy and had a TIA this summer, a form diagnosed as Amaurosis Fugax OS (OS because I had transient vision loss in my left eye). I went to a retina specialist, neuro-opthamologist, a cardiologist, and my regular doctor and came up with nothing other than the sheath in my left eye that surrounds my optic nerve is rather small. No one EVER discussed my birth control with me as any potential risk factor. I had a cerebral cat scan done among other tests which identified nothing. I'm a student midwife and in a research class textbook I (just a couple weeks ago) just read about the correlation of HRT and blood clotting leading to more heart attacks, so it occurred to me that HRT and hormonal contraception aren't that different and a blood clot in the circle of willis (blood vessels in the brain) could lead to stroke. So I brought it up with my instructor, who is also a medical doctor, and she was surprised that none of the doctors over the summer had ever talked to me about my birth control, and she advised I speak to a GYN about it soon. So I've made my GYN appointment and have started talking to my husband about alternative methods of contraception, because I think there is a good chance I will probably end my relationship with "the pill" soon. Good luck to all of you ladies who have shared a similar experience
Avatar universal
I'm 18 years old and two weeks ago while in my biology lab (i'm currently a sophomore in college), i noticed the sight in the right corner of my right eye was nonexistant, the right side of my body was going numb, and the right side of my face was numb and i was unable to form words. I had no idea what was going on with my body and the symptoms subsided when lab was over. I didn't tell anyone but my boyfriend what had happened and no one in lab had noticed because i was quiet about it, i didnt want to cause a scene. My boyfriend didnt know what to do and i thought i was okay because i felt fine afterwards. I didn't think about it too much after that because the symptoms seemed to go away so I thougt i was fine, and thought i was too young to have a stroke. This past weekend I told my mom and my boyfriend's dad about what had happened to me, and they both told me it sounded like a stroke. So I was beginning to become concerned. However, I started getting a real bad cough with chest pains over the past few days so I went to my doctor and thats when I told her about this crazy thing that happened to me two weeks ago. So they took some blood samples and I'm waiting to hear back about the results. I told her the only medicine I've been taking is the bc, but she told me to stay on it for the time being. So i have been doing some research of my own and my symptoms seem to be just like a TIA. This concerned me even further because there is high chance for a serious stroke in the near future! After reading yall's experiences i have decided to take myself off of my bc (tri-sprintec) and demand to have an MRI and not a CT scan done to search for signs of brain damage. I've been really worried about myself lately and I didnt know what to do. I'm only 18 years old and have my whole life ahead of me, I am scared for my life right now. I regret not going to the hospital immediately when my symptoms were happening. I just pray that nothing is seriously wrong with me now. I have big dreams for my future and I plan to pursue them!
Avatar universal
My sister just suffered a stroke due to Tri Sprintec. We are working with an attorney and are looking for other cases of strokes due to this drug. Please let me know if you've taken any legal action so far.
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